The Orlando Magic look to win their third straight game when they host the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. The Magic haven’t played since Monday while the Suns are in the midst of a four game road trip and were blown out by the Heat in Miami Wednesday night.
Before their 123-96 loss, the Suns were playing very well. After starting the season 3-4, they won three straight games, which included victories over the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. The Suns are now 6-5 while the Magic are 7-3.
The game will be shown nationally by TNT. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
Remember, Tip-off from the Amway Center is scheduled for 8:00 pm EST rather than the usual 7:00 pm EST.
The Line: Orlando – 9.5
Magic Guard J.J. Redick is once again inactive with a strained muscle in his back.
Update: Steve Nash will NOT play in Thursday’s night game.
The officials for Thursday night’s game will be Scott Foster, Curtis Blair and Tony Brothers.
Opponent To Watch: Grant Hill,F and Hedo Turkoglu, F – Sure neither one of these guys are the players they used to be, but hey, they’re two former Magic players and with Steve Nash slowed by a strained groin, they could play a big part in this game. Even without Brandon Bass in the starting lineup, the Magic are easily the bigger, stronger team. With Amar’e Stoudemire now in New York and Robin Lopez sidelined with a sprained knee, the Suns have virtually nothing inside. In fact, Hill is tied for the team lead with 5.4 rebounds per game.
What To Watch For: Do the Magic keep playing excellent defense? Sure, the Suns have obvious problems inside but they still rank 3rd in points per game (107.1) and 5th in offensive rating (110.8).
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).